Most Households Bizarrely Still Have a Landline

In the olden days, in order to make a phone call to someone farther than shouting distance, you had to stand in one place and speak into a receiver wired to a wall, and if someone called you, you had to dash from wherever you were to wherever the phone was anchored. Most people still do this, apparently??

New Census data shows that the vast majority of Americans are—I'm hypothesizing here—some sort of weird steampunk retro fetishists who probably also build fires using only pieces of flint out of respect for the ancient roots of human evolution. From the Wall Street Journal:

Just 71% of households had landlines in 2011, down from a little more than 96% 15 years ago. Cellphone ownership reached 89%, up from about 36% in 1998, the first year the survey asked about the devices.

I'm no "math whiz," but it sounds like (I checked and double-checked this, unable to believe the shocking implications of the data) most of the households that have landlines also have cell phones. In other words, Americans who already possess the ability to make and receive phone calls anywhere at any time, at home or on the road, nevertheless choose to pay money to have another telephone anchored to a wall inside of their house, immovable as the mountains.

This is just an example of old people slipping into dementia, right? WRONG. A full third of households "led by people ages 15 to 29" (all these alleged households "led" by 15-year-olds should be a subject for future exploration) ALSO HAVE A LANDLINE. It's like an inexplicable sickness that spreads from generation to generation, ineradicable by good common sense.

Cellular telephones are available at your nearest electronics retailer.

[WSJ. Photo: Flickr]